What reaction do you get when you tell others you’re sick? When you mention you have a cold, stomach virus or God-forbid, something worse? Is it pity? Sympathy? Prayerful supplications?

What if instead of that, someone asked you what you had to be sick for? What was wrong with you? Or worse yet, told you to suck it up? Sounds harsh, but often time, this is the reaction most mentally ill people get when they share that they are sick. And just because it’s invisible to others doesn’t make it any less valid, or real.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, text ‘Start’ to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. It’s free and confidential; and someone is available to talk to you 24/7. Visit their website at http://www.crisistextline.org for more information. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) or NAMI (800-950-6264) for support and local referrals.

What it’s like to live with depression, as told through 10 comic panels.

Living with depression looks very different for different people.

But we should be talking about how depression feels and looks more often because, as national mental health groups report, major depressive disorder affects around 16 million adults in the U.S. per year.

For many people, depression changes daily interactions.

Handling everyday problems, interacting with friends and loved ones, and even working can be especially difficult for those who are struggling.

Most people don’t talk about depression or ask for help either.

Experts estimated that 1 in 4 people have treatable mental or emotional challenges, but thanks to factors such as money, time, and stigmaup to 75 % of Americans and Europeans don’t seek the help that they need.

Minorities are particularly hesitant to find treatment for depression, with only 7.6% of African-Americans reported reaching out in 2011 compared to 13.6% of the general population.

That’s why artists from Empathize This illustrated some real talk about the complexities of living with depression.

Through art, they’re hoping to dismantle the stigma that surrounds it.

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To celebrate the release of my new book, Stay With Me, as well as commemorate Mental Health Awareness Month, I will be posting articles and links on the subject through the month of May. Please share this with your friends and family. And don’t forget to get a copy of my book. Go to https://ruthegriffin.com/home/bookshelf/stay-with-me/ for more information.

‪#‎mhm2016‬ ‪#‎MentalHealth‬ ‪#‎MentalWellness‬ ‪#‎StayWithMe‬

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